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  • Writer's pictureScandinavian Travel

Guide to Gas Stations in Iceland: Brands, Locations, and Tips

Traveling through Iceland presents a unique adventure, with its breathtaking landscapes of volcanoes, glaciers, and hot springs. However, navigating gas stations in this sparsely populated country can be a bit different from what you're used to. This guide provides essential information on gas stations in Iceland, ensuring a smooth and worry-free journey.

Map of gas stations in Iceland

Understanding gas stations in Iceland

Iceland's gas stations are more than just places to refuel your car; they often serve as mini-markets, cafes, and sometimes even restaurants, providing a range of services from hot meals to free Wi-Fi. Given Iceland's remote areas, gas stations can be few and far between, especially when exploring the Highlands or driving on the F-roads. Therefore, it's crucial to plan your refueling stops ahead of time and never pass up the opportunity to fill up. For those embarking on a road trip, consider an Iceland campervan rental to explore the island's breathtaking landscapes at your own pace.

Getting gas in Iceland

How to use gas stations in Iceland

  • Self-Service Stations: The majority of gas stations in Iceland are self-service. To use these, you'll need a credit or debit card with a PIN. Some stations may require you to pre-authorize a certain amount before pumping, which will be adjusted to the actual amount you refuel.

  • Full-Service Stations: While less common, some full-service stations exist where an attendant can assist you with refueling. These are more likely to be found in larger towns or cities.

  • Payment: Most gas stations in Iceland accept major international credit and debit cards. It's important to note that cash transactions are becoming increasingly rare, especially in rural areas.

How to pay for gas in Iceland
How to pay for gas in Iceland

Fuel types and prices

Iceland offers both petrol (usually marked with a green handle) and diesel (marked with a black handle). Fuel prices in Iceland are higher than in many other countries due to taxes and the country's remote location. Prices fluctuate but expect to pay around ISK 220-250 per liter. Keeping an eye on fuel costs as part of your travel budget is advisable. For more detailed information, see how much is gas in Iceland.

Map of gas stations in Iceland

A map of gas stations in Iceland is an invaluable tool for planning your journey. These maps highlight the locations of gas stations across the country, particularly useful when venturing into less populated areas. You can find such maps online or via specific apps designed for travelers in Iceland, including on Google Maps.

Map of gas stations in Iceland

The essential guide to gas station brands in Iceland

Navigating Iceland's roads is an adventure that requires a reliable guide to the various gas station brands dotting this majestic landscape. From the bustling capital of Reykjavik to the remote reaches of the Westfjords, knowing where to fill up is crucial. Here's what you need to know about the gas station brands that fuel Iceland's journeys.

Orkan – The Budget-Friendly Choice

Orkan stands out as the go-to option for travelers looking to make the most of their fuel budget. Renowned for its self-service model, Orkan passes on the savings from its lean operational approach directly to customers, offering some of the most competitive fuel prices in Iceland. With its distinctive blue and white branding, Orkan stations are a welcome sight for budget-conscious road trippers.

Olís – The Veteran of Icelandic Roads

Olís is the granddaddy of Icelandic gas stations, with a history stretching back to 1927. This brand has been fueling Iceland's vehicles for nearly a century, making it a staple of the Icelandic road experience. Olís stations are fully serviced, offering a wide range of amenities beyond fuel, including food, groceries, and even car washes. Their extensive network ensures you're never far from a reliable refueling point.

Ób – Easy and Economical

Ób wins the prize for simplicity, both in name and service. This self-service chain, operated by its competitor Olís, offers an easy-to-use option for drivers. With a focus on keeping operational costs low, Ób stations provide an economical choice for travelers, reflected in their competitive gas prices.

Atlantsolía – The Underdog

Atlantsolía may be the smallest player in the Icelandic gas station scene, but it punches above its weight with its commitment to low prices and unmanned convenience. Established in 2003, Atlantsolía has embraced a fully automated model, allowing it to offer some of the lowest fuel prices in Iceland. However, travelers should be prepared for the lack of on-site amenities, including restrooms.

N1 – The Full-Service Leader

N1 takes pride in offering a comprehensive service experience, aiming to be more than just a place to fill up your tank. With a broad array of services, including grocery stores, quality food options, and attentive staff, N1 stations are perfect for those looking to replenish both their vehicle and themselves. Their widespread presence makes N1 a reliable companion for any Icelandic adventure.

Costco – The Newcomer

Costco has recently entered the Icelandic gas station market, initially making waves with its low prices. However, the requirement to be a Costco member to use their services has tempered the initial excitement. Currently, Costco operates a single station in Reykjavik, offering an alternative for members looking to capitalize on their membership benefits.

How to pump gas in Iceland

Frequently asked questions about Icelandic gas stations

How do gas stations work in Iceland?

Gas stations in Iceland primarily operate on a self-service basis. Drivers use their credit or debit cards to activate the pump before filling up their tanks. Instructions are usually available in English at the pump or inside the service area.

What is the most popular gas station in Iceland?

N1 is one of the most popular and widespread gas station chains in Iceland, known for its extensive network across the country, including remote areas.

How do you gas a car in Iceland?

To gas a car in Iceland, insert your credit or debit card into the pump's card reader, enter your PIN, select the amount of fuel or press the "fill" option, and then proceed to fill your tank. Remember to replace the nozzle and collect your receipt.

Do gas stations in Iceland put a hold on your card?

Yes, some gas stations in Iceland may put a temporary hold on your card when you pre-authorize an amount before pumping gas. This hold is adjusted to the actual cost of the fuel you dispense and is released shortly after the transaction.

Traveling through Iceland requires a bit of planning, especially when it comes to refueling. By understanding how gas stations operate, what fuel types are available, and where to find them, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey across this stunning island nation. Remember to keep an eye on your fuel level and never miss an opportunity to top up, ensuring your Icelandic adventure is as seamless as the landscapes are breathtaking.

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